Maria Bamford Finds Meaning Through Blending Comedy with Mental Health Awareness
Written by Eileen O'Gorman on March 15, 2019
Maria Bamford is a comedian and mental health advocate whose work is seen on Arrested Development, Lady Dynamite, Bojak Horseman and Adventure Time, to name a few. Hailing from Duluth, Minnesota, Bamford has made a career for herself working among comedy greats such as Stephen Colbert and Judd Apatow, who praise her as one of the most intelligent minds in the field. Every show she headlines and every set she plays seem to invoke this type of reaction. The not-so-secret ingredient? Her candidness in speaking about a harrowing battle with mental illness.
“[medicine] has been a game changer for me,” Bamford told The Morning AMp host Jill Hopkins. “Now I understand when people tell me we’re going to have a great time…before I thought that just meant we were going to have a unique set of difficult circumstances and it’s going to be miserable.”
Bamford is everywhere in both comedic circles and advocacy spaces where she blends humor with the story of a breakdown and now, recovery. She managed to move seamlessly through questions on both her upcoming projects and personal life as though she were talking about the weather. This type of approach towards historically taboo topics, Bamford said, is what the mental health arena needs right now.
“Show business is really understanding of mental health issues,” said Bamford. “But mental health issues can be debilitating and can really take people out of the game completely and to have compassion for that is, I don’t think I used to have that.”
In addition to television shows and articles, Bamford said standup is her first true love for the shared experience and connection it brings. Fans will get to see Bamford return to that love this weekend at the Den Theatre for her set of shows on March 15-17.
Bamford is currently working on an audio book about standup comedy and has dreams to start an unconventional reality show all about making guest’s dreams come true.
Listen to the full interview below: